The 65th anniversary of Cuba’s socialist revolution is just around the corner, and the results of that revolution have never been more obvious. Nearly 9 out of every 10 Cubans on the island are living in extreme poverty. In the meantime, Cuba’s communist dictatorship is building luxury hotels for foreign tourists and the elite continue living the lifestyle of the rich and communist. There goes any opportunity to blame the U.S. embargo for this travesty.
The dire economic situation in Cuba requires drastic action, which the Castro family dictatorship will never take because it will loosen their grip on power. So instead, all they offer is “more revolution and more socialism.”
Dictator Diaz-Canel after an increase in public services costs and extreme poverty at 88%: ‘We will make more revolution and more socialism’
One of the most notable decisions is the 25% increase in the electricity tariff for the residential sector.
Cuban dictator, Miguel Díaz-Canel defended the measures announced in the National Assembly, ensuring the “economic recovery” is the priority. However, these statements contrast with the alarming reality faced by the population, where 88% live in conditions of extreme poverty, according to the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights.
The macroeconomic adjustment plan for 2024, presented by Prime Minister Manuel Marrero, aims to reduce state expenses by increasing prices subsidized by the State. Among the most notable decisions are a 25% increase in the electricity tariff for high-consumption residential sectors and the end of universal subsidies on products from the ration book.
The dictator stated: “our main task is economic recovery. The measures announced yesterday will provide a necessary boost to the economy. We will further revolutionize and promote more socialism.”
The increase in fuel prices, electricity tariffs, along with other adjustments in essential services like drinking water and gas, poses a significant challenge for the Cuban population since these services are exclusively provided by the State and citizens cannot turn to private companies or other initiatives. This package of measures will directly impact the already impoverished citizens, raising uncertainty about the quality of life for Cubans in an economic downturn.
The change in the official exchange rate of the peso (CUP) against the dollar is also a measure that can have repercussions on the daily economy of citizens, especially when the black market has already seen a considerable increase in the dollar’s value.
The Cuban regime’s estimation of a 1% to 2% contraction in GDP for 2023, after initially forecasting a 3% growth, reflects the seriousness of the economic crisis on the island. Furthermore, the projected 30% inflation in the formal market and the high deficit are clear signs of the precarious financial situation.